NEW LONDON, Conn. – After finishing second last weekend, the No. 1 Yale women's sailing team made a point of returning to the top of the standings this weekend. The Bulldogs won the Emily Wick Trophy which was raced on the Thames River in New London, Conn.
Despite very unsteady winds, fourteen races were completed in both A and B division at the Wick Trophy. On Saturday, the race course was constantly being reset as the mean wind direction changed from southwest to south to north and ultimately to west-northwest. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs managed to adapt well and finished day one with a 42-point lead over second place.
"I'd say the biggest challenge was staying consistent despite the challenging and sometimes unpredictable conditions," reported freshman crew Natalya Doris. "We overcame that by having a good stream of communication flowing between the skipper and crew to identify where the pressure was going to be predominant for the next [leg of the course] and to keep track of course-wide changes."
On Sunday morning, the Bulldogs returned to the US Coast Guard Academy for day two of the regatta. This time A division rigged FJs and B division rigged 420s—the opposite of the day before. Racing began just after 10a.m., but only one A division race and two B division races were completed before the wind became too unpredictable. After a long delay, competitors eventually got to do four more races each in a relatively steady, 10-to-12-knot southwesterly.
Not only did the Bulldogs win the regatta, but they also won A and B division individually. Junior skipper Morgan Kiss and senior crew Amanda Salvesen added another A division victory to their long list of those this season. Doris and senior skipper Marlena Fauer won B division despite having limited time to practice together before this event.
The Bulldogs finished 31 points ahead of the No. 11 University of Rhode Island Rams and even further ahead of nine other top-15 schools. There is just one regatta left between now and the Women's New England Championship which will be the first step towards qualifying for nationals.
Report filed by Chris Segerblom '14, Yale Sports Publicity